Actus Réunion

Homme armé abattu par la police après avoir tenté d’incendier une synagogue à Rouen

Police officers shot and killed an armed man Friday morning who was trying to set fire to the synagogue in Rouen and threatening them, an act that caused « a lot of damage » in the place of worship, according to a local community leader.

At around 6:45 am, the police « responded to a report of smoke near the synagogue, » located on Rue des Bons Enfants in the historic center of Rouen, detailed a police source to AFP.

« An individual set fire to the synagogue in Rouen. He allegedly confronted the police and firefighters, » said Rouen prosecutor Frédéric Teillet to AFP. « He then threatened a police officer with a knife, and the officer used his weapon, resulting in the death of the individual, » the prosecutor added, who is scheduled to hold a press conference around noon on Friday.

According to the police version, the national police saw « an individual standing on the synagogue’s perimeter wall, carrying an iron bar and a 25-centimeter knife. He brandished the knife and headed towards the police, who then fired. »

An initial investigation has been opened for « arson targeting a place of worship » and « assault on law enforcement officers » entrusted to the judicial police of Rouen, the prosecutor’s office announced.

Another investigation has been opened into the circumstances of the death of the armed individual for « assault with a deadly weapon resulting in unintentional death, » entrusted to the General Inspection of the National Police (IGPN).

« In Rouen, national police officers early this morning neutralized an armed individual apparently intending to set fire to the city’s synagogue. I applaud them for their reactivity and courage, » wrote Mr. Darmanin on X, who is expected to visit the scene around 1:30 pm.

The man shot by the security forces was identified, confirmed a source close to the case, who did not disclose the identity.

A local resident, Elias Morisse, living opposite the synagogue built in 1950, said he « heard gunshots, detonations around 6:50 am. As I was about to leave, I decided to open the shutters of my apartment, and indeed I saw smoke coming out of the synagogue, police, firefighters, and on the right side of the street, the body of the attacker who was shot at that moment. »

« Absolute shock »

« It’s horror, it’s an absolute shock, » reacted Rouen mayor Nicolas Mayer-Rossignol, who arrived at the scene.

According to the president of the Jewish community in Rouen, Natacha Ben Haïm, « the fire caused a lot of damage. I had to recognize the place, so I can tell you it’s terrible. »

« We had a great miracle. The Torah scrolls, the sacred books, are really the most important item, emotionally more than financially, were not touched. While the fire broke out right next to them, meaning everything next to it burned, » she added.

« The community is devastated. We are a small community and unfortunately, this can also happen to us, » said Rabbi Chmouel Lubecki, referring to the increasing anti-Semitic acts. He stated that around 150 to 200 families make up the Jewish community in the Norman city.

When contacted by AFP, the National Anti-Terrorism Prosecutor’s Office indicated that it is evaluating whether to take over the case.

« Those who want to bring the Israeli-Palestinian conflict to us should think about the consequences of their positions. (…) Attacking a Jew because he is a Jew is attacking the Republic, » said Justice Minister Eric Dupond-Moretti to journalists.

« Trying to burn a synagogue is an attempt to intimidate all Jews. Once again, there is an attempt to instill a climate of terror on the Jews in our country. Fighting anti-Semitism is defending the Republic, » stated Yonathan Arfi, the president of the Representative Council of French Jewish Institutions (Crif).

Gérald Darmanin had asked prefects on April 14 to strengthen security in front of Jewish places of worship and religious schools, following the attack carried out by Iran against Israel.

Font-size: 17px; The military operations launched by the State of Israel against the Gaza Strip, which resulted in the deaths of over 35,000 people, in retaliation for the Hamas fighters’ attack on Israel on October 7, have led to a sharp rise in anti-Semitic acts in France.


Le Quotidien

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